Transnational non-state politics

Authored by: Thomas Davies

Routledge Handbook of NGOs and International Relations

Print publication date:  April  2019
Online publication date:  April  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138285507
eBook ISBN: 9781315268927
Adobe ISBN:


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Traditional approaches to the study of international relations are notorious for having adopted largely state-centric perspectives. As Lake (2008, 41) has noted, neorealist and neoliberal approaches are especially vulnerable to such a critique, but so too are certain variants of constructivism and even aspects of critical theory that are focused on deconstructing states and their practices. Analyses of NGOs in international relations have commonly responded to this context by highlighting the ways in which NGOs can influence the behaviour of states such as through the “boomerang pattern” (Keck and Sikkink 1998) and by influencing intergovernmental decision-making (Price 1998). Approaches such as these retain the state as the central unit of analysis in international relations, with NGOs influential to the extent to which states change their behaviour in response to them.

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